I recently installed Ubuntu Desktop 10.10 (i.e 2h ago :D) from ISO CD.

All went smoothly but now I have an issue. I don't have a network connection.

I do not mean that there is a configuration problem and I have no internet connection. I mean I don't have an internet connection to install updates and extra programs.

I use a wireless USB modem for Internet and the thing only works in Windows. *nix systems are not supported. I'm asking this question after booting from Windows.

And the question is, is there some DVD, files of something which contains a collection of programs to chose from and install? I want to download it in Windows, burn a DVD/CD and boot Ubuntu to install them.

I could'n find anything on the Ubuntu site. Is there a way to update Ubuntu "off-line" or is is dependent on Internet connection?


First, did you try to make your modem work in Linux? There's a way to use some Windows drivers in Linux: NDISwrapper. On Ubuntu, start with the NDISwrapper page in the community documentation.

If that fails, you might try to run your Ubuntu installation in a virtual machine under Windows. The main hurdle would be to get the VM to allow the guest to access the raw disk. This site has plausible-looking instructions for VirtualBox (where you can't set this up with the GUI but you can with the command-line tools); I can't vouch for their correctness.

You can always install a package manually: download the .deb file (make sure it's for the right version and architecture), and install it with the command sudo dpkg -iGE /path/to/package.deb.

I don't think you can get a complete Ubuntu release on DVD, but the official DVDs have more packages than the CDs.

To manage updates, try apt-offline Install apt-offline http://bit.ly/software-small. You run it on your Ubuntu machine to generate a “signature file”, then run it under either Linux or Windows to download packages as directed by the “signature file”, and finally run it on Ubuntu again to install the downloaded packages. See the apt-offline howto for more complete instructions.

Two other packages that might help are apt-zip Install apt-zip http://bit.ly/software-small (somewhat similar to apt-offline) and aptoncd Install aptoncd http://bit.ly/software-small (designed to make custom Debian/Ubuntu package CDs).

  • I'm going to give "apt-offline" a try. Thanks! – user6677 Apr 18 '11 at 19:50

There is indeed a DVD iso available for download. Burn it to disc, and run this command after inserting it:

sudo apt-cdrom add

That command makes APT aware of the packages in that disc. From then on, each time you want to install a package that is in there, APT will ask you to insert it.

There are other ways of working offline of course, and the one I use is having a partial APT repository. I use debmirror for this, and run it thus:

/usr/bin/debmirror \
 --verbose \
 --progress \
 --ignore-release-gpg \
 --host=ftp.sun.ac.za \
 --passive \
 --dist=squeeze \
 --root=ftp/debian \
 --section=main \
 --method=ftp \
 --arch=i386 \
 --nosource \
 --getcontents \

The example is for Debian, but you need only replace --host, --dist and --root.

Sadly, it doesn't look like debmirror is available even from the iso image, so download it directly from Ubuntu repository, and install it with dpkg --install <debmirror deb>. If that commands displays dependency issues, issue apt-get --fix-broken install and you just might get lucky.

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